(Washington) - Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, met with Azerbaijani parliamentarians to urge that Baku hold free and fair parliamentary elections this November.
The Azerbaijani legislators, led by Sattar Safarov, are in Washington to participate in the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) Parliamentary AssemblyвЂ™s 14th annual meeting.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords.
The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
Rep. Smith is an original co-sponsor of House Resolution 326, which calls on the Azerbaijani Government to assure that NovemberвЂ™s elections are вЂњorderly, peaceful, free and fair,вЂќ with the full participation of opposition parties on an equal basis.
The resolution is expected to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives after its Independence Day recess.
вЂњFair elections will assure that Azerbaijan has a stable and prosperous future and will mark a watershed in the political development of the entire Caucasus region,вЂќ noted Smith.